West Virginia Assignment and Satisfaction of Mortgage Law

Real Property – Mortgage Satisfaction – West Virginia

Assignments Generally: Lenders, or holders of mortgages or deeds of trust, often assign mortgages or deeds of trust to other lenders, or third parties.  When this is done the assignee (person who received the assignment) steps into the place of the original lender or assignor.  To effectuate an assignment, the general rules is that the assignment must be in proper written format and recorded to provide notice of the assignment.

Satisfactions Generally: Once a mortgage or deed of trust is paid, the holder of the mortgage is required to satisfy the mortgage or deed of trust of record to show that the mortgage or deed of trust is no longer a lien on the property. The general rule is that the satisfaction must be in proper written format and recorded to provide notice of the satisfaction.  If the lender fails to record a satisfaction within set time limits, the lender may be responsible for damages set by statute for failure to timely cancel the lien. Depending on your state, a satisfaction may be called a Satisfaction, Cancellation, or Reconveyance.  Some states still recognize marginal satisfaction but this is slowly being phased out.  A marginal satisfaction is where the holder of the mortgage physically goes to the recording office and enters a satisfaction on the face of the the recorded mortgage, which is attested by the clerk.

West Virginia Law

Assignment: An assignment must be in writing and recorded.

Demand to Satisfy: Though 38-12-10 mentions a “request,” 38-12-1 commands the creditor to execute and furnish a release to the debtor within 30 days of full payoff. It is recommended that the creditor comply with 38-12-1.

Recording Satisfaction: When satisfaction has been signed and acknowledged, it may be presented for record to the clerk in whose office the lien thereby intended to be released is recorded or docketed.

Penalty: If creditor fails to timely furnish a release to the debtor, creditor becomes liable for court costs and attorney fees.

Acknowledgment: An assignment or satisfaction must contain a proper West Virginia acknowledgment, or other acknowledgment approved by Statute.

West Virginia Statutes

38-12-1. When release of lien required; requisites thereof.

(a) Every person entitled to the benefit of any lien on any estate, real or personal, or to the money secured thereby, whether the lien was created by conveyance, judgment, decree, lis pendens, notice of attachment, deed of trust, contract or otherwise, shall be required to furnish and execute an apt and proper written release thereof free of charge to the debtor whose obligation secured by such lien has been fully paid and satisfied, if the lien is of record in the proper county. Such release shall be executed and furnished to the debtor within thirty days after the debt has been satisfied.
(b) Such release of lien shall be executed by the lienholder and acknowledged before the clerk of the county commission in whose office the lien is recorded or before such other person authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds. Such written release shall be deemed sufficient if it describe the lien to be released by any words that will identify and show an intent to discharge the same. Releases may also be made according to the provisions of section two [§ 38-12-2] of this article.

38-12-2. When trustee may release lien of deed of trust; effect.

A trustee in a trust deed may release the lien of such trust deed:

(a) When the trust deed authorizes the trustee to release the same;
(b) When the trust deed creates a lien to secure debts to persons not named in the trust deed;
(c) When a trust deed creates a lien to secure more than five creditors, even though such creditors be named in the trust deed;
(d) When a trust deed creates a lien to secure notes or bonds or other instruments payable to bearer.

A release executed by the trustee in any of the cases mentioned herein, and properly recorded, shall, as to purchasers for value without notice, be valid and binding, whether the debt secured by such lien had in fact been paid or discharged or not.

38-12-5. Partial or limited release.

In case of a discharge of only a part of the lien debt, or a release of only a part of the property subject to the lien, or any other partial or limited release, the form of release prescribed in section four [§ 38-12-4] of this article may be modified to express the facts and the intention of the parties.

38-12-8. Recordation of release; effect.

When the release has been so signed and acknowledged, it may be presented for record to the clerk in whose office the lien thereby intended to be released is recorded or docketed, and from and after the time the same is so left for record (which time the clerk shall indorse thereon) such lien shall be discharged and extinguished, and the estate, of whatever kind, bound or affected thereby, shall be deemed to be vested in the former owner or those claiming under him, as if such lien had never existed.

38-12-10. Action on refusal of lienholder to execute release.

In case of the failure of the party holding such lien to furnish and execute an apt and proper release upon request of the party entitled thereto as required by section one [§ 38-12-1] of this article, the circuit court having jurisdiction may, on motion, after reasonable notice to the party so failing, and if no good cause be shown against it, direct the clerk of the county commission to execute such release, and it shall thereupon have the effect of releases executed under section one of this article. The proceedings shall be at the cost of the lienholder who so refuses without good cause and the court shall also award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to the person entitled to such release if such person be the prevailing party.

39-1-2b. Recordation of certified copies of certain instruments.

Except as provided in this section, the clerk of the county commission of any county shall admit to record in the office of such clerk a copy of any contract, deed of trust, mortgage, lease, memorandum of lease, release, assignment, power of attorney or any other instrument or writing which has been certified by the clerk of the county commission of any other county of this state as being a true and correct copy and transcript from the records of said county. Any such recordations prior to the effective date of this section shall constitute notice with like effect as if such original instrument had been recorded therein. This section does not apply to deeds, wills or to any instrument filed in accordance with chapter forty-six of this code.


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